According to the United States Department of Agriculture one hundred million trees have died in California since 2010. And two thirds, or sixty two million, have died in just 2016 alone. This year the governor of California declared the state to be in a stage of “exceptional drought”. Most of the dead trees are located in the dry Sierra Nevada region of the United States. So, which factor is more to blame for the dead trees, the drought? Or the insects?
A biologist, Matt Ritter, explained that most of the dead trees died from insects feeding on trees that are already weak and dry. Once trees began to lose moisture just about every insect pest in the area will begin to feed on the trees. So, although it is technically insects that kill off most of the trees, the problem really began when the trees went years without any water. Sadly, officials with the forestry service say that most government money does not go toward conservation efforts; instead the money goes to firefighting efforts.
What is one possible method of keeping insects from destroying at risk trees?